It is looking increasingly likely that the biggest losers from the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition will be single parents.

The headline debate from the Tory Conference this week has of course been the rights and wrongs of cutting child benefit for those earning £44k or more. I personally think this is actually a good idea, generally speaking, and I was even surprised that individuals earning so much were eligible for such income. However, there is a clear inconsistency and unfairness to a single parent earning £44k and not receiving any child benefit while a couple earning £83k does.

David Cameron has so far been unable to communicate how this will be addressed which suggests that the problem has thus far been overlooked. I would expect some sort of compromise will be arranged but for now there is a clear demographic that is undeserving of specific punishment, if not ‘vulnerable’ in their own right.

On top of this slight, single parents will at some point during this parliamentary term see their tax payments go towards subsidising married couples. To be fair to the Conservatives, this will see them delivering a manifesto pledge (which is something that undemocratically many of their Government proposals are not).

It is the lack of flexibility of the Conservative proposals that worry me, the old-fashioned notion that the only way that a household should be is Dad, Mum, 2.4 kids and a big shaggy dog. Real life doesn’t work that way I’m afraid Dave. I know Conservatives are in favour of nuclear power, nuclear weapons but I didn’t think their dogma would also extend to an unswerving insistence on nuclear families.

And so I do hope that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats can be a voice of reason in all of this. I understand that their position of junior partners does not give them sway in every policy and every deliverable that the coalition Government holds but surely, as it stands, this is an illiberal result.

Single parents, punished twice by their Government for simply not being cohabiting or married, is not how 21st century Britain should look.